Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Design Process

 For my collaboration with Melanie, we decided that I would do a floral, specifically Nasturtiums, which I love and have always wanted to paint, or draw, or make into a quilt. It's just the perfect time to do this, since I am feverish with garden desire, and not a speck of garden yet to plant. I wanted to do something 'designed' rather than improvisational, so I spent some time in research.
I have lots of my own photos of my nasturtiums, and of course Pinterest is jam-packed with gorgeous images, which I studied and sketched.


Sometimes I like to alter a photo to eliminate the detail to get right at the essence of the object. I used my fave photo program Picasa to take a look at the shapes of the leaves and flower.
 Then I spent some time just drawing, erasing and redrawing the shapes I liked. Lots of details, which I would try to distill into just the essentials.
I have a bunch of reference books too, so I dragged those out and looked at how others have tackled the same flower. Love the design-y aspect of these ideas.
 

 And then I quit for the day and let my brain work on the ideas overnight. First thing this morning I grabbed my coffee, and bounded up to the studio. With pencil in hand I drew my nasturtium, erased, refined and redrew it four times, in different positions. I think I've got it now. The urge, which is so strong, to include every last detail of the real blossom is one I have to resist.
Less, less and less, or simplify, simplify, simplify.
And then the leaves? That was much easier. I cut a leaf shape, and cut it into wedges and that will make the veins, which are so typical of nasturtium leaves.
So now I will make a bunch of flowers and leaves and find a lovely way to assemble them into a composition. The next fun part!


13 comments:

  1. I can't wait to see this one! I, too, love Nasturtiums... the colors, the shapes - I know you're going to have fun with this one!

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  2. I love watching your process, very excited to see how this all comes together. I am inspired, must go make something....

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  3. This quilt is going to be stunning and I can't wait to see the finished quilt.

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  4. Just great distillation!

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  5. I am so excited about my quilt! I love the subject you picked and I know it will be beautiful! Hope it is a fun one for you to make....

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  6. It's so interesting to "watch" you struggle with the process of simplifying - a subject I need to study closely. Looking forward to this quilt. I remember Nasturtiums lining the walk of my grandmothers home.

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  7. Very interesting to see this aspect of the design process, particularly the role of drawing. Thanks so much!

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  8. The difference between 'gifted' and the rest is the spark of design genius ... which you've got in excess!!!! I learn so much reading your blog, Thank you

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  9. I enjoy seeing the artistic process of others. We're very similar in our process ( not talent, I admit). I struggle to simplify sometimes and don't always achieve it. Nasturtiums are one of my favourite flowers and I grow them every year.

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  10. My kids thought I was NUTS to serve Nasturium blossoms on salad. They are beautiful, and have just a bit of "bite"....the leaves are much more "peppery" so I just use the blossoms. If you are growing them, try it sometime! can't wait to see the quilt!

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  11. You do such a good job of describing your process. Thank you.

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  12. Wonderful watching you design this! How to simplify; where to get inspiration...Thank you so much for letting us into your mind!

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